Reasons we unfriend and disengage…
*She said too much.
*He didn’t say enough.
*She went off script and didn’t behave as expected.
*He left your church or group.
*She challenged your thinking.
*He misquoted a reference.
*She used a four letter word in a passionate post.
*He doesn’t vote like you.
*She is too emotional.
*He is too dogmatic.
*She strikes a cord of jealousy in me.
*He gets all the opportunities.
*She is too soft.
*He owns a gun.
*She lives in that area of town.
*He used that hashtag.
Not only can I identify with these reasons, I have been on the receiving end of many of them. Have you?
We manage to polarize over the most insignificant things. It’s no wonder we can’t navigate difficult experiences and circumstances in front of us.
When I went through a divorce, I had to spend a day in mediation. Not only was the process expensive, it was an emotionally exhausting experience. At the beginning of the session, both parties and lawyers sat around a table. The mediator asked a few questions, and then released us into separate spaces. When he came into the room where I waited, he looked me square in the eyes and said the process could take all day. He said he could see I was at the middle of the road, but the other party was standing on the edge of the road.
I see it in us. We want the middle of the road to be our side of the road, but that is NOT how compromise works.
Compromise requires adjusting expectations and demands. It is not necessarily comfortable or without felt loss, but it seeks the good of the whole.
We may not think the same, act the same, vote the same, but we can come together to glorify our Creator and fight for the common good.
Now more than ever–let’s not make relationships about our own personal comfort. I am not suggesting we abandon convictions, but we can be careful we aren’t unfriending and disengaging with others because they don’t share ours.
There is a place for kindness at the table of despair and strife.
We can let words, experiences, and perspectives of others be holy sandpaper smoothing out the edges of our fears and frustrations.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
#sowkind #commongood #sowkindmovement #fruitofthespirit